What is the difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles?
There is a common misconception about porcelain tiles and that is that when you choose this flooring for a room the color will be even throughout. This can have a direct bearing on your choice when it comes to porcelain vs. ceramic tile. Most of the porcelain tiles out there are not all the same colour; in fact less than five percent of the floors with these tiles are evenly tones. There is actually a name for this kind of tile and it is called “Through colour Body Porcelain”. This is not the regular kind of porcelain that you buy, it is specially made.
Most of the porcelain out there on the market today is glazed or “full body porcelain” and if it gets cracked or chipped you will see the under layer of the porcelain and it is not going to be the same color as the top of the tile. It is as simple as that. This is something that you need to understand before you choose sides in the war between porcelain vs. ceramic tile.
Porcelain is the choice for outdoor patios because it can withstand the elements better, at least in its absorption rate. Porcelain is much denser than regular ceramic tile and this will keep it from absorbing wet and dirt keeping its color much cleaner over time. This is a huge pro on the side of porcelain when it comes to porcelain vs. ceramic tile. It is also frost resistant which is great for those of you who live in climates where the winters can be harsher.
You can get really good ceramic tiles that are strong and dense however but they are much more expensive than other ceramic tiles. It all comes down to what your needs are and which room you want the tiles put down in. Look at all of your options when it comes time to choose between porcelain vs. ceramic tile and you will make a wise.
What is the difference between glazed and full-body tiles?
Glazed tiles are coated with a liquid glass, which is then baked into the surface of the clay. The glaze provides an unlimited array of colors and designs as well as protects the tile from staining. The unglazed tiles are pretty much the same as the glazed tile, except that their surface is not coated.
Full-body porcelain tiles do not show wear because their color extends throughout the tile, making them ideal for commercial applications.
Should a sealer be used on ceramic tile?
A glazed tile is already stain proof, so there is no purpose to putting on a sealer. You may put a penetrating sealer on your unglazed tile or your grout joints. The penetrating sealer is an invisible, stain resistant shield that is absorbed into the surface.
What is a PEI rating?
The Porcelain Enamel Institute rating scale indicates the areas of use each manufacturer recommends and has designed their tile to fit.
Class 0 – No Foot Traffic:
- Wall tile only and should not be used on floors.
Class 1 – Very light traffic:
- Very low foot traffic, bare or stocking feet only. (Master bath, spa bathroom).
Class 2 – Light Traffic:
- Slipper or soft-soled shoes. Second level main bathroom areas, bedrooms.
Class 3 – Light to Moderate Traffic:
- Any residential area with the possible exception of some entries and kitchens if extremely heavy or abrasive traffic is anticipated.
Class 4 – Moderate to Heavy Traffic:
- High foot traffic, areas where abrasive or outside dirt could be tracked. Residential entry, kitchen, balcony, and countertop.
Class 5 – Heavy Traffic:
What is the difference between Sanded and Non-Sanded Grout.
Sand is obviously the major difference, but more important is where it is used. Marble, among others, should be installed using unsanded grout to avoid getting scratched. Using the right grout for a specific joint size is also very important. Unsanded grout is recommended on joints between 1/16″ to 1/8″ while sanded grout is recommended for joints between 1/8″ and 1/2″.
Is Sealing Grout joints necessary?
Grout joints remain very porous. It is therefore highly recommended to seal in order to protect against dirt, calcium, wine, mustard, etc. Having your joints sealed will also ease their maintenance.
Can I tile over old tiles or should I remove them?
If the existing tile is firmly sound and cleaned (you can clean it with TSP solution and remove any waxes or sealers, and rinse well) however, the best rule is to remove the existing tile and start fresh. Your new tile installation if installed over existing is only as good as the existing tile, tile that is loose or cracked will not be suitable to tile over.
Can I tile direct onto wooden floors?
Yes, however some wooden floor needs additional preparation,
A substrate of at least 1.25” is required for the installation of tile. This can be achieved in a couple of ways to lessen that height.
- Installation a ¼” cementatious backer board over 5/8 subfloor
- Two layers of 5/8” plywood without the seams over each other
- One layer of 5/8” plywood and an additional layer of anti-fracture membrane such as Schluter Ditra.
Tile cannot be installed over dimensional lumber such as 2×4 or hardwood flooring, or laminate flooring
Can I use floor tiles on the wall?
Yes, but all surfaces have a maximum weight threshold they can take. Floor tiles are generally heavier than wall tiles so please check with us first.
Can I use wall tiles on the floor?
No, wall tiles are not meant to withstand wieght or traffic, the glazes and products used to make these are a much lighter duty than floor tiles and are suppectable to breakage and cracking.
Do I need spacers?
Yes, on all wall and floor tiles. Correct spacing allows movement of the building walls and floors without the tiles cracking or blowing.
Do I remove the spacers?
Save yourself a huge headache in the long run and take the spacers out. By leaving them in, you will create soft and weak spots in your grout and this will lead to cracking and tile popping. You should be setting your cross spacers on edge for easier removal.
How long do I leave my tiles before grouting?
You can apply the grout anytime after 24hours, unless a rapid setting tile adhesive has been used.